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Tips to reduce stress in the workplace

Iain Leaman

Many people experience a high degree of stress at work. With pressing deadlines and many factors out of your control, we’ve put together some tips to ensure you’ve optimised your working day to ease stress where you can control it. Managing stress effectively can help you stay motivated in your career and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, ensuring you’re not focusing on workplace problems during your free time.

Talk about your problems

A strong support network can work wonders, for instance your colleagues will likely be facing similar challenges to you. Talk to them about your experiences, they might have some good suggestions around coping mechanisms to alleviate your stress, or sometimes just their empathy and understanding of your situation is enough to vindicate you and take away some of your concern. When you share the difficulties you’re having, a senior team member may be able to get involved and make the changes to your schedule or workload.

Some offices will have a designated mental health first aider (MHFA).  If you suspect that your stress is more deep rooted than a challenging project, speak to them, it can be a great relief to speak openly about your experiences in confidence. The first aider will also have support from senior management to help you confront some of the causes of your anxiety.

Stay healthy

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and your body is physically prepared to stay focused through the day. Ensure you’re heading out of the office during your breaks, stretching your legs and getting some fresh air will make a huge difference, physically and mentally.  By frequently drinking water you’re helping your body to operate properly and keeping away headaches. It also keeps you moving, getting a small bit of exercise and a screen break every time you go to refill your drink and nip to the toilet.

Prioritise and organise your workflow

Your daily tasks may feel like they’re adding up and weighing you down. Break them down, make a to-do list so you can check off each task as you make progress through the day. This gradual and organised approach can help you stay calm and tackle a heavy workload in bitesize pieces. Be sure to ask for help from colleagues and delegate effectively. Sometimes it may feel like explaining the job takes longer than doing it, but if you’re open and trusting with your colleagues, they will be able to assist you in stressful situations.

There are lots of little ways you can take control of your working environment and alleviate stress. But when you can feel the situation getting out of control, communicate, trust in your colleagues to help you find the answer and to empathise with you. They might suggest solutions you haven’t thought of, they might be able to offer their time and resources and they can give you the encouragement and confidence to either meet the challenge, or take the appropriate steps to make it into a more achievable task. So make sure you keep communicating when you’re under pressure.

Read our related blog: Why employee well-being matters

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